The next 24 hours will be very telling for fallen NFL superstar Michael Vick.
It was less than a month ago when Vick pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to "travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities and conspiring to sponsor a dog in animal-fighting," but he may need to change that tune if he wants to avoid a year in the slammer.
More and more it appears no amount of money or high-powered legal advice can earn this young man a get-out-of-jail-free card.
The case against Mike Vick grows more solid by the day.
The latest development occurred Monday when two more co-defendants opted to co-operate with the feds, making incarceration for the young millionaire more destiny than worst-case scenario.
Purnell Peace and Quanis Phillips are due in court tomorrow to accept plea agreements -- paving the way for them to testify against Vick, a manoeuvre that caught the quarterback's high-octane legal defence team very much off- guard.
Tomorrow is decision day for Vick; will he take a plea of his own and opt for less than a year behind bars or will he stick to his "you got the wrong guy" defence? Should he choose the latter, he will see a superseding indictment go into effect, meaning he'd likely face at least two more federal dogfighting charges, therefore a stiffer jail sentence.
On the career side of things, word on the street is not good for the pivot. His teammates talk of "moving forward without him" while rumours are running rampant that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will announce, prior to the start of this season, that Vick will be suspended for the entire 2007 campaign.
League officials deny any such announcement is imminent.
The harsh reality here is that -- unlike many NFLers who broke the law before him and walked away unscathed -- as fleet of foot as he is, Vick may not be able to avoid this sack.
Jody Vance is a sportscaster with Leafs TV. Her columns appear Tuesdays and Thursdays in 24 hours. firstname.lastname@example.org.